Tuesday, March 3, 2015


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14 reasons U.S. mosques should be monitored

Are radicalized Muslim American citizens a national security threat? (Comments welcome)

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According to the Mapping Sharia in America Project, former counterterrorism and counterintelligence agents targeted 2,300 mosques, Islamic centers and schools across America for undercover surveillance.

So far these ex-FBI, CIA and U.S. military agents investigated 100 mosques and concluded that 75 of them should be put on a watch list, for they were hotbeds of anti-Western extremism.

Unfortunately, radical mosques inside America remain under the radar of our Intelligence Community (IC) because they operate behind the sponsorship of the Saudi Arabian government and are backed by U.S. front groups for the radical Muslim Brotherhood, which is based in Egypt. However, Egypt recently banned the terrorist group Hamas and cracked down on the organization which Hamas works closely with...the Muslim Brotherhood.  Yet, the Muslim Brotherhood remains unrestrained inside America.

Although not all of Saudi Arabia's mosques in the U.S. are radicalized, many of them are. In fact, there have been 40 instances where radical Islamists and terrorists were linked to U.S. mosques. I offer 14 reasons for the mosques in the U.S. to be watched more carefully:

1.   Sermons by Saudi-trained imams incite insurrection and jihad.

2.   Anti-Western videos, literature and textbooks are displayed and sold in the mosques.

3.   Women are singled out for discrimination while men mosque members are favored. The women are forced to wear hijabs and separated from men in the prayer halls and are required to enter from separate, usually back entrances.

4.   The imams preach that women are inferior to men and can be justifiably beaten for disobedience.

5.   The imams advocate that Jews are infidels and inferior to Muslims.

6.   The imams lecture their worshippers that jihad or support of jihad is not only a Muslim's duty, but is the noblest way to live.

7.   Suicide bombers and other forms of being a martyr are worthy of the highest praise. The Saudi-trained imams preach that suffering for the cause of Islam, being a willing victim....and being a sacrificial victim are the progenies of devotion to Islam.

8.   Solicitation for financial support for jihad is encouraged.

9.   Mosque bookstores sell books, CDs and DVDs promoting jihad and glorifying martyrdom.

10.              Some mosques inside America serve as safe houses and meeting places for Islamic terrorist groups. In the last decade, 40 cases of these links between mosques and terrorist groups have been uncovered.

11.              Some of the 9/11 hijackers received aid and counsel from the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Washington, DC. which is run by the Muslim Brotherhood.

12.              The Adams Center, a Washington, DC mosque, was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood and is the leading distributor of Wahhabist anti-Semitic and anti-Christian doctrine.

13.               In most mosques where violent literature was found, the Imam actively encouraged the "Mapping Sharia" agents posing as new attendees to study this violent material.

14.              We already have had numerous terrorist attacks and incidents inside America which were influenced by radical Islam ideology. See "89 Terrorist Attacks Inside America."

For these reasons, I suggest the American government no longer refrain from investigating the thousands of mosques and Islamic Centers rapidly spreading throughout the U.S. heartland. After all, the European Union intelligence agencies and law enforcement have undertaken a large-scale operation that analyzes member-state mosques and examines the training and funding sources of the imams.

I believe our leaders in congress and in the White House should begin a "deterrent approach" to the increasing peril of homegrown terrorism and Islamic radicalization by following Europe's lead. After all, the U.S. previously has legally probed and lawfully reined-in other groups and organizations that favor violence to achieve political ends, such as the Weather Underground or "Weathermen", Black Panthers, Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), abortion clinic opponents, Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). 

A growing number of American citizens convert to radical Islam inside U.S. prisons, within 80 percent of mosques controlled by radical imams, and through the Internet. It's time to bring this militant movement to a halt.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


     In 2012, I believed there was a good chance that al-Qaeda may topple the Yemen Government. At the time I was surfing foreign media and came across a Xinhua news report of a huge bomb blast that hit the headquarters of the Yemen military intelligence agency in the Al-Mansoura district in Aden. Xinhua news interviewed a local police officer in this southern port city, who said there were no immediate reports of casualties.
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     The bomb was planted by gunmen of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and detonated at the main gate of the military intelligence building, shattering the windows of residential buildings nearby. The battle between AQAP in Yemen was heating up in 2012 and it has intensified ever since.
     Currently, in January of 2015, the Syrian-based terror group ISIS has moved into Yemen to recruit a fresh supply of jihad warriors. It is competing with al-Qaeda for control of the country in at least three provinces in southern and central Yemen.
     The good news is that both terrorist groups haven't banded together and the intense competition between them has resulted in gun-battles. Even though fierce battles are being waged in Yemen's eastern provincesAQAP remains the dominant force there.
     According to CNN, one American intelligence official believes that, although there may be a smattering of ISIS loyalists among Sunni extremists in Yemen, they are likely "mid-level AQAP militants who are sympathetic to ISIL's vision but haven't broken ranks."
     The ISIS factor wasn't considered in 2012, when I was applying basic GEOINT overlaying mapping skills to predict the likelihood of al-Qaeda taking over the Yemeni Government. The death tolls were rising rapidly and a fresh battle began between al-Qaeda militants and government forces in the neighboring southern province of Abyan. Eighty army soldiers and 27 terrorists died in that heated exchange.    
     Now, in 2015, I think back on my 2012 OSINT research and the conclusion that the Yemen government was on the brink of toppling due to Al Qaeda's presence. AQAP took full advantage of the country's political and economic hardships- a civil war was waging in the North, a secessionist movement in the South, and they had no problems recruiting the masses of disenfranchised citizens of Yemen. I wonder how many jihad warriors ISIS is recruiting in Yemen, as we speak?
     Economic failings combined with a government full of corruption also bolstered al-Qaeda's effectiveness in 2012 and these factors are, no doubt, still in play not only for AQAP...but ISIS as well. 
     Another mitigating factor present in 2012 that led me to believe Yemen would become a failed state under AQAP's control was that Yemen needed internal security... but it was absent. They simply could not prevent the resurgence of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, for the southern secessionist movement and the civil war in Saada spread the meager government security forces too thin. 
     In 2012, I uncovered the article "AQAP Vows To Control Red Sea Gate (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula )" in the APS Diplomat News Service. The South Yemen-based AQAP leader Sa'id al-Shehri vowed to control Bab al-Mandab, the southern gate to the Red Sea. He also claimed credit for the failed attack on the passenger jet approaching Detroit and called for further attacks against US and Jewish interests.
     Shehri preached that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the U.S. "crusader" interests were everywhere and stressed, "The Christians, the Jews, and the treacherous apostate rulers have pounced on you. You have no other way out from this plight than to wage jihad."
     If Saudi Arabia and the West begin a full anti-insurgency campaign against AQAP, I wonder if they'll make amends with and band together with ISIS?  
Related Posts:
Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Saturday, January 17, 2015


     American jihadist Anwar al-Awlaki raised his ugly head again...from the grave. He is linked to the Paris Charlie Hebdo massacre and intelligence agents are fervently working to see if his network still thrives and is operational, even though he is no longer amongst us! Even though a U.S. drone Hellfire missile killed him in September of 2011 in Yemen, his influence lives on, for his past jihadist words continue to provoke radicalized Muslims to savagely attack Western targets (The recent murders of journalists, cops, and Jews in Paris is an example).
     French, European and American intelligence operatives are aggressive gathering details about the planning, funding, and coordination of the Paris attacks so they can identify  sleeper cells that remain lurking in the shadows. So far, it is obvious that the New Mexico-born Anwar al-Awlaki has, indeed, inspired, directed, and provided the initial funding for the murderous Jan. 7 attack on the satirical tabloid weekly Charlie Hebdo.
     The current leader of al-Awlaki's murderous terrorist group in Yemen is named Nasr al-Ansi and he proudly claimed responsibility for the Paris attack in the name of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). His announcement came in video format and was broadcast on jihadist websites which called the attackers, Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, “heroes of Islam.”

Are radicalized Muslim American citizens a national security threat? (Comments welcome)
     Before being blown to bits by a U.S. Hellfire missile, Anwar al-Awlaki played a significant role in the global al-Qaeda jihad. Unfortunately, his influence remains sizeable and long-drawn-out as he continues to be a legendary "who's who" for a new generation of jihad attackers against the http://ad.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/show?id=gvyxLwk1e8o&bids=190366.47102259&type=2&subid=0West. The online social media sites he created aired DVDs and taped sermons on jihad, many of which were found in the computers of jihadists such as the U.S. army officer responsible for the Fort Hood shootings, Major Nidal Hassan; the underpants bomber Abdulmuttallab; the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad; the planners of the 2010 cargo plane bomb plot; the Boston Marathon bombing Tsarnaev brothers; and with at least 52 other American citizens or U.S. residents who have committed jihadist terrorist-related crimes. They all had studied al-Awlaki's DVD and lecture tapes or communicated with him on the internet.

ISIS lures recruits worldwide with a sophisticated social media operation

      U.S. intelligence was particularly concerned about al-Awlaki because he spoke colloquial English, which made him remarkably valuable to al-Qaeda for recruiting American jihadist. Even today, his DVDs and taped sermons continue to emanate from Yemen and are used to perpetuate hatred against the West, particularly the U.S. Virtually every attempted terrorist attack against the West by Salafist jihadists since 2009 has had some association with AQAP or with this deceased Islamic cleric.
     I think the numbers of radicalized Americans and  homegrown terrorist cells will multiply throughout America's heartland as long as we lack a robust counterintelligence capability. I felt this way ever since meeting Charles "Charlie" Allen, the well-known counterterrorism expert who spoke at an Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) seminar in Tyson Corner, Va. in 2006. Allen warned us in a 45-minute lecture on how Americans become radicalized on the Internet.
     Anwar Al-Awlaki, José Padilla, Adam Yahiye Gadahn, Bryant Neal Vinas, Ali Mohamed, Ziyad Khaleel, the Buffalo Six, and Wadih El-Hage were the initial radicalized American actors in Allen's warning- the cast has since multiplied.
     In October 2008, Allen stated that Anwar al-Awlaki "targets US Muslims with radical online lectures encouraging terrorist attacks from his new home in Yemen." Quoting Allen, Al-Awlaki snapped back in December 2008: "I would challenge him to come up with just one such lecture where I encourage 'terrorist attacks.'"

     Al-Awlaki's retort was mendacious, indeed, for his call for violent jihad against Westerners turned up in the personal computer hard disc drives of many radical Islamists who have been arrested or killed. Just recently, Cherif Kouachi, one of the two brothers who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre, told a French television journalist in a phone call before he died that he was acting on behalf of al-Qaida of Yemen. "I was sent- me, Cherif Kouachi- by al-Qaida of Yemen," then he added, "I went out there and it was Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki who financed me."
     It's apparent that Anwar al-Awlaki's anti-Westerner murderous ideology still breathes in the mindsets of countless radical Islamists. So, what should the citizens and governments of Europe and North America do right now?
     Here are 5 practical and logical steps to set off the opening salvo in the West's new war against radical Islam:

1.   Continue with the "capture or kill" stratagem against the leaders of radical Islam via special ops, drones, etc.

2.    Aggressively identify and control Muslim religious leaders who preach or call for the support of radical Islam. For example, the Islamic Center of Portland, OR was run by a Muslim preacher named Abdirahman Karive, who came to the U.S. in 1982 from Somalia. He founded the Global Relief Foundation in 1992, which was a charity that was eventually shut down by the U.S. government for financing Al-Qaeda. Keep watch over Islamic organizations in America that directly support or sympathize with terrorism and/or radical Islam.

3.   Fight back on social media! There are 56 million Facebook users in the Middle East. There are also thousands of web pages on social media that are used by radical Islamist groups to draw in and recruit followers. They use social and religious programs to subvert roughly 47 percent of the Arab world which is poor and ignorant. Oppose and expose them! Write in comments on these sites that detail the flaws in radical Islam's logic and how the leaders monopolize wealth and crave nothing but power. They use social media to disseminate ideas among the masses and paid more than 20 million Egyptian pounds to create an ‘electronic militia’ in order to broadcast rumors, skew the truth, and promote lies o undermine their opponents. The Western governments and citizens should form their own "online militia" and fight back.

4.   Increased monitoring of travel between Europe and the Middle East.  It seems as if European citizens come and go to and from Syria and Iraq by the plane load. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but newly radicalized European Muslims flocking to fight with jihadi militias in Syria more than doubled in 2013 and the numbers are swelling. Experts estimate that between 2,000 and 3,000 Europeans are acquiring combat and explosives skills as part of their anti-Assad fighting, as we speak. They will become a formidable terror threat upon their return home...to not only Europe, but to America as well.

5.   We need a formal declaration of war against radical Islam by the Congress of the United States. The declaration should resemble the one made by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who told his people on Jan. 10 that they were at war: “It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity.”

Related Posts:

Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Friday, January 16, 2015


       It is no secret that terrorist networks use the social media for a myriad of anti-Western intentions. The global Internet is now the meeting place for radical Islamists to hear a radical preacher or terrorist rave about the evil Satins in the West. Use of the world wide web makes it difficult for intelligence operatives to keep physical surveillance on them, for they operate apart, from afar, while sitting in front of a computer screen.
     Since the digital age began, counterintelligence (CI) operatives no longer tail the "bad guys" from their homes to a town square, pub, or cafe to photograph and record them together and to find out who their target's accomplices are while they discuss jihad strategies and attack plans. CI ground agents simply cannot keep tabs on a group of men becoming increasingly radicalized while they meet online, for their targets literally become "lost in Cyberspace." The world wide web is so vast that the bad guys can easily operate undetected and hide among over 1,770,000,000 websites.
And, the number of Cyber-hiding places is growing each second- click HERE to view the real-time growth of Internet websites...you won't believe it!

     The Internet has replaced the "old-fashioned" terrorist method of physically meeting, face-to-face, to spread radical jihad's ideology, recruit new members, and formulate attack plans against Western targets. Now, radical Islam has Cyber communities and online meeting places with electronic networks for information-sharing and command and control. 
     Terrorist use the Internet for 9 major broad-spectrum applications:
  1. Jihad recruitment with unlimited geographical limitations
  2. Jihad radicalization
  3. Jihad planning
  4. Jihad training
  5. Spreading propaganda
  6. Steering visitors to moderate websites and forums, to entice them to visit more extremist sites with fanatic content
  7. Mulling over and sharing operational and tactical information
  8. Conducting reconnaissance and targeting
  9. Befriending “marginal” people and enticing them into becoming more radicalized
          Roughly 90% of radical Islam's activities on the Internet is carried out through the social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, chat rooms, YouTube, Myspace, websites, forums, blogs, etc. Interestingly, Facebook pages laud known terrorists and radical clerics, such as Faisal Shahzad, who is  serving a life sentence for the Times Square bombing that failed; Omar Hammami (aka Abu Mansoor al-Amriki), who serves as operational commander for al-Shabaab in Somalia and who was ranked “Liked” by numerous people on his Facebook page; Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2009 and who had his own Facebook site with thousands of American teens following him....the list is quite lengthy!
     Anwar al-Awlaki played a significant role in the global al-Qaeda jihad. He was the "who's who" of jihad attackers against the West and his online social sites broadcast DVDs and taped sermons on jihad. Many of these sermons were found in the computers of jihadists, such as the US army officer responsible for the Fort Hood shootings, Major Nidal Hassan; the underpants bomber Abdulmuttallab; the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad and the Boston Marathon bombers.

Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). He writes the online spy thriller "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Friday, January 2, 2015


     The SONY Pictures hacking took center stage, but OSINT analysts should be aware of the broad-based, ubiquitous increase in PC hacking. Last year, more than 300 Internet crimes were committed every hour- with a victim hit every ten seconds on average. Three million online crimes were reported... and that's only the number reported. Hackers attack computers every 39 seconds and according to the University of Maryland, they attack computers 2,244 times a day as result of weak user names and passwords. A recent FBI paper on Internet crime complaints topped 300,000 in 2010! These complaints have soared each year since then.
     Note: See "U.S. State of Cybercrime: Rising Risks, Reduced Readiness" report- I found it to be an informative resource on this issue.
     Last year's records of Internet crime totaled 303,809 complaints, the second-highest sum in 10 years. Despite the recent arrest of one of its leading members, the professional hacker group known as ANONYMOUS has law enforcement officials concerned, since they vowed to expand their hacking operations.
     Anonymous is amazing, in actuality. They are a group of loosely assembled hackers scattered throughout the world and conduct a new form of guerrilla warfare, including seizing news media headlines and penetrating the most secretive of government operations. The latter is what eventually led to many of their arrests. 
     In late 2010, thousands of hackers conducted a coordinated strike on the Websites of Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal to protest their treatment of WikiLeaks. They also hacked, defaced and embarrassed the Websites of Sony Entertainment, Fox, the Vatican, and the Church of Scientology. No one felt safe after this coordinated hacking attack. Thousands of user accounts from pornography 
Websites were exposed, leaving government employees and military personnel embarrassed and shamed.

     These attacks were mainly perpetrated by masses of users who rallied through the message boards of 4Chan, but many other attacks were masterminded by a small, tight-knit group of hackers who formed a splinter group of Anonymous called LulzSec. The legend of Anonymous and Lulz Security grew in the wake of each ambitious hack. It was a mystery on how they penetrated intricate corporate security systems.
     LulzSec is the common name for Lulz Security and was a black hat computer hacker group that compromised user accounts from Sony Pictures in 2011 and took the CIA website offline. It's these high profile targets and the sarcastic messages posted after their attacks that put them in the spotlight.
     A leader of LulzSec, code-named Sabu, was arrested and in a plea deal helped police track down four other members in March 2012. British authorities had previously arrested two teenage LulzSec members. The video (below) tells how former hacker Hector "Sabu" got arrested by the FBI. 

     Hackers work as lone wolves. Case in point is Franois Cousteix, better known as "Hacker Croll." Cousteix is a French self-taught cracker and reached notoriety by hacking into Twitter in July 2009. He obtained access to the internet accounts of many of Twitter's high profile executives. Cousteix was in close contact with reporters from TechCrunch, who published numerous articles about the information obtained and the incident itself. Cousteix remained anonymous until his arrest in March 2010.
     "Hacker Croll's" Twitter infiltration was made easy because the target's passwords and usernames were the same for both personal and business accounts. This led to a domino effect whereby all accounts were hacked including their PayPal and iTunes accounts. He obtained over 300 pages of sensitive documents including Twitters financial projections and meeting notes.
     Some described these hackers as terrorists, others as activists. Experts in the Intelligence Community (IC) are trying to answer many questions about them- Do they work in teams or as lone wolves? Are they a cabal of skilled hackers or a disorganized bunch of kids? How vulnerable is the Internet underbelly to their attacks? How capable is this global cyber insurgency movement becoming?

Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form